Drinking Horn

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Object Name: 
Drinking Horn
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall L: 21.5 cm; Rim Diam: 5.9 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
The first painters of glass in the Islamic world applied a brownish or yellowish metallic pigment on bowls, dishes, and other objects. The decoration usually consists of animal or vegetal motifs, sometimes accompanied by inscriptions. By applying pigments to both sides of these objects, glassmakers could highlight details or exploit the transparency of the glass to produce subtle shading effects. This object is a drinking horn with a large applied handle. Its shape is obviously derived from the use of animals’ horns for drinking. Glass horns were made by the Romans in the first century A.D., and horns of silver and ivory had been created by Achaemenian and Parthian artists in Iran before that time. However, in the Islamic world, such vessels never became popular in any medium. Only three Islamic glass horns are known, and this is the earliest example.
Motamed, Saeed, Source
Primary Description: 
Drinking Horn. Colorless glass; blown, handle applied, decoration stained with lustre. Drinking horn with plain rim, thickened rounded lip; upper wall straight, with slight taper; lower wall curves down and out, and continues to taper terminating in bulb, which is solid except for small, tear-shaped bubble at center; no pontil mark. Single handle with circular cross section dropped onto upper wall, drawn out, vertically down, and in, and reattached to wall just below mid-point, with excess glass drawn up along its side. Decorated on body and handle with transparent greenish yellow and transparent to translucent yellowish brown lustre. On body, three continuous horizontal bands of ornament (from top to bottom): (1) bordered immediately below rim by broad yellow band above narrow brown band, three large, upward-pointing motifs resembling urns containing foliage, with additional foliage on either side of foot, alternating with two smaller, downward-pointing motifs resembling suspended garlands, with two even smaller vegetal motifs above and below upper handle attachment, all in brown or brown and yellow; (2) bordered at top by yellow band between two narrow brown bands, three upward-pointing trumpet-shaped vegetal motifs alternating with three vertical lines accompanied by dots and other small elements, in brown or brown and yellow; (3) bordered at top by yellow band between two narrow brown bands, five long, tear-shaped motifs and other small elements, again in brown and yellow; bulb painted yellow; handle painted brown and yellow. Glass contains tiny spherical and elongated bubbles.
Dining with the Sultan: The Fine Art of Feasting at the Islamic Courts
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Dining with the Sultan is a pan-Islamic exhibition that will span the eighth through nineteenth centuries (and perhaps beyond) and include some 150 works of art representing a rich variety of media from three continents. We expect this to be a transformative exhibition, one emphasizing our shared humanity rather than our singular histories. It will follow the model of LACMA’s 2011 exhibition Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts. It similarly will introduce an American audience to Islamic art and culture with objects of undisputed quality and appeal, only this time viewed through the universal lens of fine dining. In considering the admittedly very substantial and diffuse theme of feasting at the Islamic courts, preliminary research has led us to cast as wide a net as possible in terms of both the time frame and the concept of “fine dining.” The resources that inform this study so far are two-fold: 1) Rich textual sources, including a broad array of cook books and books of delicacies, texts on etiquette, instructions for princes, royal memoirs, collections of food poetry and parody, dynastic histories, endowment deeds, kitchen accounts, dietetic and medicinal works, travelers’ narratives, and diplomatic reports and communiqués. 2) Works of art that can be identified from their inscriptions or specific shapes as containers and receptacles for food or beverage, or are associated with preparing and serving food, or else those works that are similar to examples described by the written sources, as well as works of art, primarily manuscript illustrations, which depict food preparation and dining. Clearly it is the second category that primarily will provide the visual focus (the flesh, so to speak) of the exhibition, while the first will supply the documentary framework (the bones, as it were) as conveyed through didactic materials and especially the exhibition catalogue. The sheer quantity of primary sources and the large number of relevant first-rate works of art together indicate the importance of food culture at the Islamic courts. The exhibition, which is in preparation for 2023, will require between 6,000-8,000 sf. It will be organized primarily by sub-themes, which will include topics such as coffee culture in the Ottoman era, outdoor feasting or picnicking, and the continuity of Late Antique/Persian royal cuisine and etiquette at the early Islamic courts. At LACMA, the installation will include our 18th-century Damascus Room in order to suggest the types of architectural spaces used for receiving and feasting family and honored guests. On a popular level, the exhibition will stimulate not only the eyes but the appetite, reminding visitors of the commonly shared pleasure of food—both its taste and its presentation; on a scholarly level the exhibition will provide much needed information on the enormous class of luxury objects that may be broadly defined as tableware, while also demonstrating how gustatory discernment was a fundamental activity at the great Islamic courts.
Glass of the Sultans
Benaki Museum
Corning Museum of Glass
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Les Tresors Fatimides du Caire
Institut du Monde Arabe 1998-04-27 through 1998-08-30
Kunsthistorisches Museum 1998-10 through 1999-02
Treasures from The Corning Museum of Glass
Yokohama Museum of Art 1992-10-12 through 1992-12-13
The Art of Glass: Masterpieces from The Corning Museum of Glass
IBM Gallery 1989-12-12 through 1990-02-02
National Gallery of Art 1990-12-09 through 1991-04-14
Decorative and utilitarian works from the Corning Museum of Glass, surveying 35 centuries of glass-making technology and stylistic developments from ancient Egyptian, Roman, Islamic, and Asian cultures to contemporary American and European examples. The works were selected by Corning Museum staff members Dwight P. Lanmon, director and curator of European glass; David B. Whitehouse, curator of ancient and Islamic glass; Jane Shadel Spillman, curator of American glass; and Susanne K. Frantz, curator of 20th-century glass.
Escort Guide to the Galleries (2013) illustrated, p. 14, top; BIB# 134015
Escort Guide to the Galleries [V4/2013] (2013) illustrated, p. 14, top; BIB# 134856
New Light on Old Glass: Recent Research on Byzantine Mosaics and Glass (2013) illustrated, p. 330, pl. 1; BIB# 136397
Richard La Londe and Friends (2009) illustrated, p. 149, left; BIB# 112312
Histoire du Verre: les chefs-d'oeuvre de l'Islam (2007) illustrated, p. 97; BIB# 98424
Glass of the Sultans (2001) illustrated, pp. 209-210, #103; BIB# 68105
Schatze der Kalifen: Islamische Kunst zur Fatimidenzeit (1998) illustrated, pp. 118, 119, cat.# 75; BIB# 96403
Treasures from The Corning Museum of Glass (1992) illustrated, p. 31, #21; BIB# 35679
Masterpieces of Glass: A World History From The Corning Museum of Glass (1990) illustrated, pp. 76-77, pl. 30; BIB# 33819
Germanic Glass Drinking Horns (1975) illustrated, pp. 82-87, fig. 19, #59;
Recent Important Acquisitions, 12 (1970) illustrated, pp. 174-175, #23; BIB# AI97752